Every birthday is unique- Birth day is simply the birth of the day. It is the birth of the sun, moon stars , trees and new human beings. Our cells get new replenishment and we are a new person every moment. So birthdays are just remembrances of growth and development. Some people think it is a reminder of decay and getting old. It is how we view it just like the way we view death. We need to die every moment in order to live the next. Every moment is the death of the previous one. It is a cycle. We take several births before we are reborn again as maybe a tree, a plant, animal or a human being.
Anyways we are excited when it is a birthday. It is time to celebrate. This year I felt so good to receive gifts from people and their heartfelt wishes. After a long time I heard people on the other side. With apps and facebook updates you no longer have to call and wish!! you could just ping and say happy birthday.
I remember even until a year ago, going to the shop almost every month to pick up a card with the appropriate words to send to a friend, mother, lover, husband, brother, close friends, daughter, acquaintances and more. I would spend at least an hour picking up the appropriate card- a sort of combination of the right words, the right image and the right size, all the while carrying the particular persons face and thoughts in my mind. I would also imagine their expression after receiving the card and staring at the familiar hand writing , scribble and scrawl on the card. Well that’s the way I would do. I would place the card on the shelf and stare at those flowers or image for a long time –perhaps the whole month and imagine that person talking to me. That way the thoughts of a person remained with you for a while. Then sometimes I would personally go to the post office to find and select the right stamp or airmail sticker. After posting it at least three days earlier if it was a local one and ten days if it were to reach abroad to the said date. I would imagine “now she/he must have received the card and then imagine the expressions on the face and the feelings and the pangs and that long distance feeling et al. there would be a letter soon to say how happy they were or a thank you card to reciprocate the greetings . The phone would ring and “how did you manage to find the right words etc.”
I have a collection of the cards still and every time I feel a bit low would stare at some of those familiar handwriting, words ,images which would bring back the smell of old memories and soothe a tired heart. Celebration is not just the day of the birthday alone cutting cakes and having fun but is also a celebration of moments, wishes, love and relationships. It is also perhaps a time to give to do way with old clothes, old angers, and jealousies and bury old enemity and anger.
I do recall in 2010 that two dear friends had called me over to Douglas in Scotland during my 55th birthday and they had baked an eggless cake with lots of fruits to decorate the cream and had invited about 25 storytellers home. Surprise! About 10 of them told and sang stories for me as gifts for my birthday and we cut the cake at 12 midnight. I told them all a story. It was the most memorable birthday I had had. When I turned 50 two colleagues in Ravensburg Germany baked a cake and bought me an expensive ticket from the entire months savings for the Munich orchestra . I was moved to tears for it was the first time I witnessed such a spectacular show. This love for music was instilled by my father who had taken me to the film “The Sound of Music” “ as a treat for my 10th birthday. He not only gifted me a movie that day but sowed the seeds of good music in my heart. .
Yesterday October 24th 2015. 59 years after my birth I told stories about the Moon to the public-children and adults along with two other team members at our Story center and ended it with a puppet show of “The Musicians of Bremen.”. The best gift was to see the innocent expression of a one year old child staring open mouthed and watching the show. I returned home satisfied delighted and having celebrated the day differently.